Off-highway equipment can now offer automotive-like features with sophisticated electronic control, thanks to a new microcontroller (MCU) from Sauer-Danfoss Inc
Known as the MC038-010, the new product
delivers electronic control to small motors in HVAC systems and to
high-intensity lighting applications, as well as to other "creature comforts"
once considered to be outside the realm of mobile equipment. Sauer-Danfoss says
the MCU can be employed in agricultural systems, road-building equipment and
turf care machinery.
"With this microcontroller, we're trying to offer features
that are automotive-like," says Dan Ricklefs, product portfolio manager for
Sauer-Danfoss. "We're giving the operator what he's accustomed to, so when he
climbs out of the cab of his F-150 and into the cab of his construction
machinery, he'll have some of the same features."
The new microcontroller is designed to fill a very specific
void in the mobile equipment market. Until now, mobile equipment MCUs typically
were directed at the control of hydraulic systems, such as pumps and valves,
which operate at currents ranging from a few hundred milliamps to about 3 A.
With the MC038-010, however, Sauer-Danfoss aimed to extend the control into an
area of higher current capabilities. By reaching as high as 10 A, the new
microcontroller becomes a candidate for the control of solenoids, which operate
in the 4-6 A range, as well as for small fan motors (10 A) and high-intensity
lighting (10 A). As a result, the new product extends the range of electronic
control into the electric portion of the machine.
"It gives machine designers the ability to integrate those
two systems together, whereas they may not have had that ability before,"
The MCU, part of Sauer-Danfoss' Plus+1 family, includes
application software designed to enable OEMs with limited electronic resources
to create the kind of sophisticated control systems normally associated with
the automotive world.
"We're trying to give them the ability to differentiate their
piece of equipment from their competitor's," Ricklefs says. "It's another way
they can add value to their offering."